Tony Conrad With Faust
Outside The Dream Syndicate


4.2
excellent

Review

by Ben STAFF
April 15th, 2024 | 12 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: a walk in the park except the park is a desert and the dunes consume you

Outside the Dream Syndicate - the brainchild of kraut-jesters, Faust, and the legendary 1960s drone-birther, Mr Tony Conrad - is a 2-sided 2-song’d suite of shimming wasteland heat.

Side A is a sinkhole: a heady sandpit of high and low, pooled from violin (Conrad), drums (Zappi) and bass (Peran), bobbing/weaving within the glacial, hallucinogenic soup. In other words: twenty-seven minutes of glorious non-movement; an anti-song; the dazed feeling of arriving (but not arrival), spread like butter over infinite bread; a raga-adjacent exercise in restraint, time passing without user participation. In ‘other’ other words: experience the pulsating, stagnant thrum, gripping tight on mind, body and genitalia; experience minimalist decadence, captivating and immortal; experience soul sans body, via the Side of Man and Womankind.

Side B is, instead, a mirage. Benefiting less from a head-space of attentive inattention - encouraged, or maybe necessitated, by the previous trip - the Side of the Machine is a lush contrast of real, identifiable, fleeting movements: the splurge of fractal keys, sway of primal bagpipe mimicry (actually violin) and tangible, real-time variation in its rhythmic grounding. It’s by no means maximalist - still nodding back to Conrad’s NYC days and La Monte Young’s Dream Syndicate, to whose eternal drone Conrad contributed in equal measure - but does have a less abstract, more physical heft to it than the 2-toned snare dirge of Man and Woman. You’ll spot parallels to Faust IV - also a 1973 release - though not in zane, but in melody and dynamics. These are the eager fingerprints of Sosna, entirely absent from Side A, sneaking into the final third through synthetic keyboard crescendos. Extra space is also built in for Zappi and Peran, imparting their personal rhythmic contours, chiselling quintessentially kraut flavour back into the groove.

To the groove it always returns, though, for these Faust-ian flourishes do little to dull the ceaseless hum of Conrad - that constant ethereal twang - tying these discordant halves together. The resultant whole is opulent and primal in equal measure: a genuinely transportative experience, and defining collaboration of the 70s. In ‘‘other’’ ‘other’ other words: dream music, immortalised, forever.



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user ratings (23)
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Demon of the Fall
April 15th 2024


34490 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. Gonna peep this as I do like me some Faust and "IV" was mentioned specifically

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
April 15th 2024


10289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yas demon hope you dig



Record was flagged to me reading Harry Sword’s book. The whole 60s minimalism thing that then bled into krautrock with collabs like this is something that I had no idea existed.

cylinder
April 15th 2024


2687 Comments


def gotta check this

Zig
April 16th 2024


2747 Comments


classic!

Demon of the Fall
April 16th 2024


34490 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Side A is a monster, low-key maybe(?) love it. The combination of thunderous tribal percussion and dissonance in the strings is weirdly reminiscent of Gagaku



let's see what Side B has, starts well enough. Lighter touches so far

parksungjoon
April 16th 2024


47235 Comments


did nto expect this to get a revie good job benjamin

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
April 16th 2024


10289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hey now don’t you go be full naming me (but thanks)



Agreed demon great contrast in side A to B. B feels more contemporary, you can almost get a GY!BE drone flavour vibe, or hints of where the whole raga rock / stoner metal thing ended up going.

Demon of the Fall
April 17th 2024


34490 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah, it offers some respite after the repetitious trudge (not a bad thing!) of Side A. I can certainly hear a vague proto post-rock / drone vibe in the second half (really just wanted to use the "proto post" oxymoron! lol)



Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I've heard all of the first 4 Faust full lengths, but didn't know anything about this Conrad fella

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2024


10289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He was involved in Velvet Underground before they were called Velvet Underground. I think he actually came up with the name. Read that Harry Sword book. It tells all.

myri14
April 23rd 2024


229 Comments


Thanks for the review. I worshipped Faust at one point and still greatly enjoy them, and I remember listening to this album and thinking it was the most intense think I'd heard from them. It feels like you put some difficult-to-describe concepts into words here which I appreciate! Gotta re-listen to this some time.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
April 23rd 2024


10289 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers myri, glad it resonated on some level (like this album lol)

Demon of the Fall
June 5th 2024


34490 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

still listening to this, I can't get enough

blessed review



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